Nakshatra Report by Tara Cochrane



The Nakshatra Report for

Julia Roberts
October 28, 1967
12:16 AM
Atlanta, Georgia

Technical Details:
33 N 44 56   84 W 23 17   Daylight Savings Time observed
Time Zone: 5 hours West     GMT: 04:16:00
Sidereal Moon Position:  1  Leo  23  (Lahiri ayanamsha)

Introduction to the Nakshatra Report

The 12 zodiac signs are very familiar to most of us, and many people know their Sun Sign. In India a different system of celestial signs has also been used. It is a system of 27 signs and each sign has a length of 13 degrees and 20 minutes, rather than 12 signs of 30 degrees each. These 27 signs are known as "nakshatras".

Whereas the 12-sign zodiac is based on the yearly cycle of the Sun, the 27-sign zodiac presented here is based on the monthly cycle of the Moon. The moon is both the largest celestial body observable in the night sky and the closest one to earth. This makes the observation of the Moon the most logical starting point for human understanding of the movements of the celestial bodies. Most ancient societies had some kind of Lunar zodiac, but as societies changed, the Lunar zodiacs were replaced by Solar ones. India is perhaps unique in that it has preserved the knowledge of both the Lunar and Solar zodiacs. The first references to the nakshatras come from the Vendaga Jyotisha, the Yajurveda and the Shatapatha Brahmana, ritual texts from the first century BCE. The oral tradition associated with the nakshatras may be much older.

Also, in the astrology of India the placement of the nakshatras in the sky is based on the sidereal rather than the tropical system. This technical detail does not help you better understand and appreciate this report, but it is mentioned here only to emphasize that the "Sidereal Moon Position" listed on the cover page is not the same as the tropical Moon position that is typically used in western astrology. The difference between the tropical and sidereal zodiacs is that the sidereal zodiac used in Vedic astrology accounts for the slight wobbling of the earth on it's axis. Because the Western tropical zodiac has not factored this phenomenon into it's mathematical calculations, it diverges from the sidereal zodiac about one degree every 72 years. At this point in history, the tropical zodiac has drifted approximately 24 degrees away from the sidereal. This places the date of their original schism at about 279 CE.

In the Indian system of astrology, the nakshatra signs are subdivided into 4 sections of 3 degrees 20 minutes each, and these sections are called padas. There are a total of 108 padas, and the word pada means step. The 108 padas are essentially the 108 steps to enlightenment that are also employed in Indian art, architecture, and religion (108 prayer beads, 108 steps in some temples, 108 cowherd girls who attend Krishna, etc.)

Nakshatras are widely used by Indian astrologers to provide vitally important information. For example, nakshatras are used for determining compatibility in marriage and the naming of children. In this report astrologer and artist Tara Cochrane paints a picture of your relationship to the cosmos. The nakshatra image combines with the descriptive information to provide you a window into the deep wisdom of ancient India. This report is designed to shed light on your individual nature and soul's purpose.

Report, Graphics, and Text Copyright 2008 Tara Cochrane
The contents of this report are protected by Copyright law.
By purchasing this report you agree to comply with this Copyright.

Moon in Magha nakshatra: MAGNIFICENCE

 The Moon in your birth chart is in the tenth nakshatra, Magha (0 deg to 13 deg 20 min Leo).

 The information below is divided into 3 sections:

1. The "About Magha" section which describes the myth, legend, symbolism, and overall significance of Magha,

2. The "About You" section which describes how the Moon in Magha affects your life, and

3. The "Your Step on the Path: the Pada" section, which describes the pada placement of your Moon.
About Magha

Magha, whose name translates to "mighty", "the great" "the majestic" or "the magnificent", is visibly the brightest and largest nakshatra. This is fitting given Magha's emphasis on rulership and glory. Magha consists of seven stars in the constellation of Leo, the lion, led by Alpha-Leoni (also known as Regulus). The six supporting stars are Eta-Leonis, Zeta-Leonis, Mu-Leonis, Epsilon-Leonis, Lambda-Leonis and Kappa-Leonis. Magha is like a great queen surrounded by six trusted advisers.

 Magha is traditionally symbolized by a royal chamber with a throne. Our symbol for Magha resembles a crown, or three mountains. These icons speak to a theme of achievement, accomplishment and material ascendancy. In the previous nakshatra, Ashlesha, a journey to the underworld was undergone in order to gain experience and understanding. In Magha, this journey is triumphantly returned from. Magha lies entirely in the solar sign of Leo, the lion. This animal is directly associated with rulership, courage and authority in Ancient India as well as Egypt, the Mediterranean, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe. Ancient civilizations in the Americas regarded leopards and other large cats as vestibules of royal, godly power. The transition from Ashlesha, which resides completely in Cancer (ruled by the moon), results in the Lion of the Sun assuming power from the Serpent of the Moon. Magha rises up and consolidates the power embraced in Ashlesha in a material way.

Imagine a majestic golden lion returning with slain prey from a night hunt on the African savannah, illuminated by the glorious rising sun. This is the essence of Magha.

 Magha is associated with the process of individuation. In this nakshatra, the soul examines itself. It is a demonic type nakshatra, and aggressive by disposition, so it will not hesitate to destroy anything that hinders its process or is no longer needed. Lions are extremely ferocious and can be truly dangerous to most other animals if threatened. In one legend, the god Vishnu takes a half-human, half lion form to defeat a demon in battle. In Magha, the beauty of individual selfhood is celebrated. All things bow down before the almighty I.

Yet what lends such radiant power to the self? The patron deities of Magha are the Pitris, or Ancestors. The Pitri Loka, or World of the Ancestors, is a realm that is separated from ours by only the thinnest veil. Many souls reside here after incarnation to watch and guide their offspring in the world of the living. The power of the self is supplied by lineage, be it genetic or spiritual. Magha relates to all that is inherited from the Ancestors. This connects to Magha's ruling planet, the shadow planet Ketu (South Node of the Moon). Ketu represents the soul's past experiences and point of origin. Magha draws power from the karmic reverberations of past events and coalesces it into personal greatness. Acting in a position of rulership is also ultimately a display of having gained the approval of the community. Magha highly values the approval and admiration of the family group that it represents. It is self-centered and sees in it's own face the faces of it's mothers and fathers.

Magha's primary motivation is Artha (the accumulation of material wealth and prosperity). It's essence is tamasic (or dense, heavy and material). In other words, this nakshatra manifests itself in our world in a tangible, material way, through objects, money and land. It's number is 10, signifying completion, fulfillment and unity.

Given below are some characteristics of Magha:

 Number: 10 Planetary Ruler: Ketu (South Node of the Moon), also the Sun Ruling Deities: Pitris (The Ancestors) Essence (Guna): Tamasic (Worldly) Element (Tattwa): Water Type (Gana): Rakshasa (Demonic) Disposition: Ugra (Ferocious, Aggressive) Orientation: Downward Mode of Functioning: Active Gender: Female Motivation: Artha (Material Prosperity)  Life Stage: Young Adulthood

A list of associations with Magha is given below:

Metals and Minerals:ruby and brown tourmaline (traditional Vedic stones of the Sun), gold (alchemical metal of the Sun), petrified wood, amber, citrine, garnet, heliodor, tiger's eye, malachite, yellow sapphire, amethyst

Botanicals: acacia, oak, catnip, chicory, cocoa, dandelion, sunflower, zinnia, orange, frankincense, calendula, saffron, pineapple

Animals: male rat (traditional), big cats (lions, leopards, tigers, etc.), macaw, tapir

Colors: oranges, golden yellow, tawny yellow, brown, deep purple, bright and luminous tones

Places: palaces, opulent dwellings, savannahs, elevated locations with expansive views, temples of ancestor worship, places where important decisions are made

Related Subjects:solar worship, Sekhmet, Durga, Bast, the Tarot card "Strength" or "Force"

About You
Because Magha reigns supreme in your birthchart, you exhibit the qualities we associate with lions; regal poise, bravery, family loyalty, ferocity, pride and strength. You are ambitious and seek honor and praise. You have a sense of royal entitlement in life, and expect the best.

 You are dynamic and actively pursue your desires, but without straining yourself as to loose your composure. You enjoy leisure as much as action, and can often be found lounging around between intense periods of superhuman magnificence.

 You take well to fame and sparkle as the center of attention. You thrive in social situations and have an intense need to involve yourself in group activities and human affairs. You laugh a lot and are extremely photogenic. You are a natural actor, and love anything having to do with the theatre. You are highly conscious of your both true inner self and the character you play on the stage of life.

 You may also be attracted to the drama of enacted in the political arena, as worldly power entices you. You may attain high levels of political power, and have the ear of the masses, either as a politician, a successful businessperson, a respected author, or a leading expert in your field. Authority becomes you. The extravagant King Louis XIV of France, known in his time as the Sun King, had his natal Sun placed in Magha. Magha is fertile ground for excessive material decadence and blinding egotism, and you may have the inclination toward helping yourself to a lion's share of earthly resources. The word decadence itself is rooted in deca (as in decade) meaning ten, Magha's special number.

 The throne in which you place yourself rests on a foundation laid by your ancestors and family. Even if you do not inherit wealth (which Magha often does), you look to older or deceased family members for spiritual support and advise. You consider your lineage and ethnic heritage an essential component of your personality.

 You derive great pleasure from family traditions and from hearing stories of your predecessors. If you are spiritually inclined, you may perceive yourself as a part of an ancient spiritual lineage. Time tested theories and philosophies may appeal to you more than new, experimental ones. You seek to create the semblance of order in your life through ritual and ceremony. You may become involved in planning weddings and/or funerals. You excel at organizing holiday celebrations, award ceremonies, or other elaborate functions which serve a ritualistic function in the community.

 In your immediate family, people see you as an authority figure, or leader of the pack. If you have children, you have high hopes for them to carry on family traditions, such as practicing a family profession. People rely on your ability to support and maintain harmony in the group, and your word may be considered the final say when disputes arise.

 In addition to theatre, politics, family or group leadership, and organizational activities, you may also be attracted to studying or upholding the law, studying or practicing orthodox religion, deciphering ancient manuscripts, history, archaeology, journalism, and writing biographies or memoirs. Grand old monuments, libraries and museums hold a special place in your heart.

 In romance, you have extremely high standards for your partner. You demand the highest quality in all areas of life and love is no exception. You may form a marriage which financially or materially benefits you. You have the potential for a long, stable marriage, but you may choose to be alone rather than settling for less than you feel you deserve. You seek partners who share your culture, morality and ideals. You are highly compatible with natives of Purvaphalguni, the eleventh nakshatra.

Your Step on the Path: the Pada

 Each nakshatra is further subdivided into four padas, each with a length of 3 degrees and 20 minutes. Each pada highlights different attributes and qualities of the nakshatra. Each pada is ruled by a different zodiac sign and that sign's ruling planet ruling planet, and is associated with a different sound. The word "pada" means "foot" or "step" and the pada indicates a step you are taking in this life.

 The Moon in your birth chart is in the first of the four padas of Magha (0 to 3 deg 20 min Leo). The first pada of Magha is ruled by Aries and Mars. It's sound is "Ma" as in "Majestic". This pada exalts Magha's leadership abilities, courage, and self-confidence. It is highly self-centered, energetic, motivated and directed. It's motivation is personal glory. It's archetype is the military general.


Described below are some terms that have been used in this report.

Essences (Gunas):

 There are three basic essences; Sattwa, Tamas, and Rajas. Each nakshatra relates primarily to one these essences, but also includes others within on two deeper levels. The first nine nakshatras are influenced by Rajas, the second nine by Tamas, and the third nine by Sattwa. On another level, the first three nakshatras are influenced by Rajas, the second three by Tamas, the third three by Sattwa and on and on. So there are three levels at which a nakshatra is affected by an essence, the first and most immediate, the second one that binds it into a triad with it's neighbors (i.e. Ashwini, Bharani and Krittika), and the third which groups the nakshatras into three groups of nine.

 The wheel of the nakshatras is a microcosm of the human experience. The first nine nakshatras (from Ashwini to Ashlesha) influenced by Rajas relate to childhood and adolescence and the excitement, vitality, aspirations and energy associated with this phase of life. The second nine (from Magha to Jyeshta) espouse the qualities of Tamas, and relate to adulthood, the phase of life in which one is most concerned with the material world. The third nine (from Mula to Revati) are sattwic in essence and relate to old age, the part of life in which one becomes concerned with spiritual matters.

 Three nakshatras are affected by the same essence on all three levels, giving us an idea of the purest manifestation of the gunas. Ashwini is completely rajasic. Ashwini is the first (initiatory) nakshatra of the cycle and exemplifies the qualities of action, motivation and fiery enthusiasm associated with Rajas. Chitra is completely tamasic. It is the closest nakshatra to the center of the wheel. Chitra is involved in weaving the fabric of Maya, or illusion, emanating the illusionary and obscurity-loving essence of Tamas. Revati is sattwic on every level. Revati represents ultimate spiritual transcendence.

 Sattwa means "being", "existence", "sacred" or "pure". Sattwic nakshatras are balanced, kind, and compassionate. They promote lucidity, clearness of thought and speech, and gentleness. Sattwa is the essence of the joy of being. It is radiant and subtle. The color of Sattwa is white.

 Tamas means "darkness", "obscurity" or "inertia". Tamasic nakshatras are chaotic, slow, confused and destructive. They are more immersed in the material realm than the realm of spirit. They are known to promote entropy and mental instability. Tamas is as dark and heavy as Sattwa is clear and light, creating a duality between these two essences. However it must be noted that they are both concerned with just being, or existing, rather than acting. The color of Tamas is black.

 Rajas means "atmosphere" or "air". Rajasic nakshatras stimulate action in the material realm. They are proactive, volatile, changeable, inspirational and driven. Unlike Tamas and Sattwa, Rajas is glorified by movement rather than stillness. In Rajas, the desire to attain goals is combined with the fear of loss and failure. The oscillation between these two powerful feelings creates the impetus for change and action. The color of Rajas is red.

Types (Ganas):

 Gana means tribe, class, flock or group. Each nakshatra is classified as either rakshasa (demonic), deva (godly) or manushya (human). Understanding the attributes of these three types of beings can dramatically illustrate the personalities of the nakshatras.

 Rakshasas, typically translated as "demons", are cosmic beings which embody many qualities which are terrifying to humans. In the Vedas, they are known to cause all kinds of mayhem, including disturbing sacrifices and religious rituals, giving priests hell, and desecrating graves. They love war and chaos and are magnetically attracted to battlefields and locations of human strife and despondency. They have been known to eat human flesh as well as cannibilize each other. Rakshasas are the harbingers of discord and dissolution. They practice magic to create illusions and can change their own forms at will.

 Devas are known as "gods", "angels" or "celestial beings". They are similar to rakshasas, yet whereas rakshasas bring chaos, devas traditionally maintain order in the world. They are responsible for managing natural forces, both elemental (fire, water, land, wind, trees, storms, rocks) and abstract (birth, death, love, knowledge, prosperity). The word "deva" gives us the Latin "deus" (meaning god), the French "dieu" (also god), and the English "divine".

 The delineation between rakshasas and devas is not always as clear, as the line between order and chaos can be fuzzy at best. For example, Kali is a goddess who personifies the qualities we normally associate with demons; a terrifying appearance and a penchant for battlefields and corpses. On the other hand, the Vedas speak of rakshasas like Vibhishana who were kind, gentle and humble (sattwic in essence). These "tribes, classes, or flocks" of beings are multifaceted and complex.

 Perhaps the most complex and confusing of all is the tribe of manushya, the humans. They can exhibit both the benificent and malevolent qualities associated with devas and rakshashas, and in more amplified extremes. Some of the most auspicious nakshatras, such as Rohini and Purvashada are human, as well as some of the most bitter and astringent, such as Purvabhadrapada and Ardra.

Elements (Tattwas):

 There are five elements, known as tattwas; Aakash (aether, spirit), Vayu (air), Agni (fire), Jala or Apas (water) and Prithvi (earth). Each nakshatra relates to one of these tattwas and it's qualities.

 Aakash (known as aether, spirit or quintessence) is the invisible life force pervading all existance. It relates to the human sense of hearing. Sound waves are the invisible yet comprehensible manifestation of the spiritual world.

 Vayu (air) is the breathe of the planet. It relates to inspiration, flow, mental activity, flexibility, travel and change. It's human sense is the sense of touch, as air touches skin.

 Agni (fire) is the element of action, motivation, color and purification. It relates to the sense of sight, as light (the fire of the Sun) illuminates the world for us to see.

 Jala or Apas (water) is the element of the emotional realm. It's sense is that of taste, as we must ingest water and fluids to survive.

 Privthi (earth) is the element of matter, form, substance and sustenance. It relates to the sense of smell, the most primal and survival-oriented of the senses. It is also the sense most strongly linked to memory.


The guna (essence) and gana (type) of a nakshatra exposes it's inner nature. The nakshatra's disposition shows how it displays itself to the outer world. There are six basic dispositions:

Chara nakshatras are known to be moveable or ephemeral. They interact with the world by constantly moving, changing, and blending into whatever environment they temporarily inhabit. Chara nakshatras evolve quickly and frequently recreate their forms for circumstantial adaptability. In a fight, they will probably choose to flee. 

Tikshna (known as sharp, hard or dreadful) nakshatras are brutal, violent and ruthless. They are domineering in their environments and forceful in their approach to life. They can be impartial to the point of heartlessness.

 Ugra (aggressive) nakshatras are passionate, driven, protective and life-loving. They interact with the world in a pro-active way and are constantly modifying their surroundings. They can often be forceful, like the Tikshnas, but their force is warmer and more emotionally charged.

 Laghu (light and swift) nakshatras are mentally acute, cunning and witty. They also have an innate advantage in business and health. Laghu nakshatras tend to outsmart their opponents when conflict arises in life, making their position highly auspicious.

 Mridu (soft and tender) nakshatras are highly sensitive. They are artistic, empathetic, intuitive and emotional. relationships between friends and lovers are given weight here. Mridu nakshatra natives tend to value sharing and community above all else.

 Misra (mixed soft and sharp) nakshatras combine Mridu's sensitivity with Tikshna's ability to destroy unwanted influences. There are only two Misra nakshatras, Krittika and Vishahka, which are interestingly both under the influence of the fire god Agni. Misra's soft/sharp nature embodies the ability of fire to either warm or burn, sustain or decay.


 Each nakshatra is oriented either upwards, downwards, or level. Upward looking nakshatras are extroverted, expansive, expressive and concerned with the future and the world at large. They face heaven. Downward looking nakshatras, in contrast, are introverted, constricting, past event-oriented and concerned with details. They face the underworld. Level nakshatras balance these extremes to produce a centered and present-conscious outlook.

A Final Note About This Report:

The graphic image and symbol for the nakshatra, as well as the text contained in this report, were created by the author of this report, Tara Cochrane. The basic astrological meanings of the 27 nakshatras and the padas are well established in the Vedic astrological tradition, and every astrologer develops a sensitivity to the nuances of meaning through working with the nakshatras. Tara has added some contemporary associations to the nakshatras to the ones traditionally given. The starting point for her understanding of the nakshatras began with several very helpful books and resources on the Internet, and became refined through the study of the myths surrounding the nakshatras and observing the effect of the nakshatras in the birth charts of people.


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